the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The glamorous life

As part of our specific, designated duties in the morning, Jon makes Leta’s lunch while I get her dressed and brush her hair. This doesn’t ever change. If it did, the world would spin out of its orbit, ice would form over all the continents, and Leta’s day would be totally ruined. You can’t play on the playground when it’s covered in ice.

Yesterday I sent Leta to put her shoes on while I finished brushing my teeth, and when I headed upstairs to join everyone I looked up and saw Marlo perched up at the top of the staircase, ready to dive head first into the basement. I yelled at Jon and asked if he knew where the baby was, and from the kitchen he was all, of course! She’s right here behind—AHHHHHHHH!

In the future when the government is toying with the idea of mandatory sterilization of certain citizens, they are going to pull up this blog post.

No, we don’t have a baby gate. Yet. It’s been ordered, right? Right, Jon? He just bit his lower lip. Let’s just say a baby gate is in our near future. A baby gate, shoulder pads in size 12-18 months, and we’re getting rid of all our furniture.

And then yesterday I walked out of the office to relieve my niece Mariah who was lounging on the couch admiring her nail polish while Marlo sat in the corner chewing on one of Leta’s mechanical gadgets. I go, dude, you know she has that in her mouth, right? And she was like, dude, it’s not plugged in. And I was all, dude, I HAVE TAUGHT YOU WELL.

I walked over, plucked the toy from Marlo’s mouth, and tried to redirect her attention. This did not go over well in Marlo’s boundary-free universe, and she performed some sort of linebacker blitz, a combo of a roll/crawl/leap, and next thing you know she’s standing up at the coffee table, a little startled that she could actually perform such a complicated maneuver, and up comes half of her lunch: about a half a cup of curdled milk, three goldfish crackers, and what is that Mariah? What are you feeding my kid? Is that roadkill?

And it happened so fast that Mariah and I are just sitting there trying to figure out the next step, and Marlo looks down, sees the ever-so-delicious pile of bile and is all LOOK! A NEW TOY! THAT JUST MAGICALLY APPEARED! And she starts slapping her hand in it, because COME ON! PUDDLE! Splish! Splash! Splish! Splash! It’s like a bath, only with more chunks!

And of course it’s shooting in every direction imaginable, right back up onto her face, and the fun stops as fast as it started when she starts to cough on the residue in her throat. Glee turns to instant tears, and before I can grab a wipe or anything to repair her face she dives into my shoulder. My poor, startled, vomit-scented baby! Oh, sweet little precious Marlo covered in nuggets of stomach acid!

I held her close and rocked her back and forth while she cried and cried and cried. I tried to whisper that it was all going to be okay, but the words got stuck in my gut as I tried to stifle my gag reflex. And when she finally calmed down and pulled away to look at me, a string of regurgitated milk clung to her mouth and stretched all the way to my chest.

You guys, if the soap star I dated in Los Angeles could see me now.

  • Danielle970

    2010/06/02 at 11:14 am

    It was Alan Michael Spaulding from “Guiding Light,” wasn’t it? I KNEW IT!

    As for the baby puke… gross, dude. Definitely not looking forward to that part of parenthood.

  • echo3golf

    2010/06/02 at 11:21 am

    Pile of Bile. Classic.

  • Theresa

    2010/06/02 at 11:27 am

    You poor thing. The greatest and most horrifying stories I have all come from babysitting adventures…or calculus.

  • PEnser

    2010/06/02 at 11:28 am

    I unfortunately was eating part of my lunch while reading this. As gross as this is, all I could do was imagine my 10 mth old doing the exact same thing and I couldn’t stop laughing. Because it’s funny in my head, not in reality. Because vomit with the day’s lunch in it is disgusting.

  • mommica

    2010/06/02 at 11:29 am

    Puke I can handle, no prob. It’s the string of slimy, green snot rolling all the way down to her lips that gets me dodging my daughter’s hugs.

  • big dog momma

    2010/06/02 at 11:30 am

    DUDE!!! This is Motherhood at its finest!

  • meganithappen

    2010/06/02 at 11:30 am

    I can’t WAIT to have kids.

  • tracy

    2010/06/02 at 11:31 am

    I am shocked. Do you mean to tell me you don’t call on Tyrant to clean up the puke? Is he too busy attending to your recycling? *

    *attempting to be humorous

  • mommyoffour

    2010/06/02 at 11:31 am

    Aahhhh. You’re not officially a mom until you can tell a story like that one. Welcome, my friend. Welcome.

  • KatieMama

    2010/06/02 at 11:40 am

    You had to post this during lunch time? Thank goodness I only had a few bites of my sandwich left!

  • reneewvu

    2010/06/02 at 11:57 am

    This post came in the nick of time. Calling to renew my birth control prescription now…

  • PunkinP

    2010/06/02 at 11:58 am

    This is my world;-) Oh, how I can relate.

  • ChickWhitt

    2010/06/02 at 12:03 pm

    Wow, I must be ready for a baby, because I read that and thought, I want to be holding my own disgusting baby, instead of being here at work.

  • kristanhoffman

    2010/06/02 at 12:04 pm

    LOL to reneewvu. Yeah, I was kinda thinking the same thing. For SOME reason, I want this “glamorous life” someday. But that day? SO NOT TODAY.

  • austinmomof7

    2010/06/02 at 12:11 pm

    If anyone needs any extra birth control reminders, just head my way. After seven kids, I don’t even remember anymore how many times I have been vomited on, peed on or realized that I had poop under my fingernails from the last diaper change.

  • medwards

    2010/06/02 at 12:12 pm

    Laughing out loud! I often say that moms are the repository of every possible bodily fluid. Isn’t it such a wonderful job and it really is.

    The problem here is that you’re breaking all of the rules. You’re not supposed to tell people that these things happen, when they know how much time you spend with the “gross out factor” they may think twice about having kids. 🙂

  • djgonzales

    2010/06/02 at 12:13 pm

    Forget the stairs…you’ve got bigger problems ahead!

    NO ladders!

    My dad was on the roof and left it there. And, at 12 months, I climbed said ladder and roamed the roof. And, me, not being a dumb baby soooo did not answer my mom when she was frantically looking for me and calling my name.


  • Jeca51601

    2010/06/02 at 12:25 pm

    My 15moths old Ema recently decided that fresh goose’s poop looks mighty tasty, stuck her little uncoordinated fingers in it and…When I picked her up, she happily deposited all that she had in her hands right to my face! Now, really…
    I used to be a lawyer, acid tongued and feared by many…Now I’m just a crash-test dummy for my two kids…
    There must be some poetic justice in all of this, maybe I’m paying for overcharging a client, else Universe is one cruel dame with a wicked sense of humour…

  • outnumberedisme

    2010/06/02 at 12:43 pm

    I had a dog in college once. His name was Ace. He was always getting into mischief and we weren’t very good at watching him. Once, he ate an entire whole, raw chicken that was defrosting on the counter. The last thing he ever did under our care was eat a box full of nails. He was shitting the darn things out for the next 3 days. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Ace the dog. My kids have NEVER, EVER, once eaten a box of nails. I am very proud of this…

  • Schnauzie_Mom

    2010/06/02 at 12:57 pm

    Now the Fergie’s “Glamorous” song is playing in my head. Although somehow, me thinks this is not what she was referring to…

  • Candy

    2010/06/02 at 1:18 pm

    When the 20-something I know said she thought it was gross when moms put a spoon in their child’s mouth and then put it in their own mouth, I told her that wasn’t even on the list of gross things mothers do. Thanks for providing the proof. I will direct her to this post the next time she comments.

  • commasplice

    2010/06/02 at 1:21 pm


  • Grey.and.Vis.Mom

    2010/06/02 at 1:27 pm

    now that’s a beautiful “mommy moment”!

  • Lizgizzy

    2010/06/02 at 1:37 pm

    I REALLY chose the wrong moment to read and eat lunch.

  • Deeters

    2010/06/02 at 1:40 pm

    This is the reason they allow women in combat these days is because of posts like this. If we can wade through the hell that motherhood has to offer – we can handle battle.

    Thanks for charging ahead during wartime.

  • TexasKatie

    2010/06/02 at 1:48 pm

    This was thoroughly disgusting. And not something meant to be read while eating an afternoon snack. Thanks, Heather! LOL

  • LolaLola

    2010/06/02 at 1:58 pm

    My eldest puked right. into. my. open. mouth.
    Top that.
    Love the “Marlo has us on the run!” stories… make me laugh.

  • apostate

    2010/06/02 at 2:26 pm

    My mom never believed in baby gates. She always said that the baby would fall down the stairs once and then they would learn to stay away after that. I’m not making this up.

  • Kassi

    2010/06/02 at 2:36 pm

    I was recently told that the media’s depiction of the first year of life is a lie (go figure) that in truth, the first year you basically are handed a ball of boogers and poo, and must learn how to deal with such. After reading this post I must also add vomit.

    But we LOVE our little goober balls don’t we?!

  • simpliSAHM

    2010/06/02 at 2:55 pm

    This is what’s so awesome about parenthood…your little one can do something like this, and after you get over the disgust factor, you step back, look at them and think they are totally adorable. I also think this is why they tend to do their most icky things during the cute years. Just sayin’.

  • tallnoe

    2010/06/02 at 2:56 pm

    I’m with reneewvu and kristanhoffman… gotta get the RX renewed stat.

    More of these stories for me to read, not to write!

  • WonderFriend

    2010/06/02 at 3:05 pm

    Awwww. Only a mother could read that and think it’s a sweet story.

    I love Marlo stories, particularly because every time you write about her I am laughing WITH you. My one-year-old is Marlo’s twin brother from another mother.

    We got a baby gate. He scales it, and then laughs at us when we say no-no while peeling him off the gate.

  • perrypalis

    2010/06/02 at 3:20 pm

    Oh crap! I hope my girlfriend doesn’t see this. For a year now my itch to fertilize her eggs has been growing and posts like this will deter her from having a child.

    Personally, I don’t mind the gross factor. I really don’t understand what disgusts her about babies. She sleeps in the same bed as a man who needs to buy new underwear every couple of weeks from blowing plumes of smoke out of his ass (okay – SHE’S the one who buys the underwear…). This, my friends, is the reason I have been forbidden to sleep in our bed without underwear.

    Come to think of it, I’m pretty disgusting. I suppose I should refrain from giving her attitude when the first words out of her mouth after sex are “put your underwear back on”.

  • verbalicon

    2010/06/02 at 3:44 pm

    “It’s like a bath, only with more chunks!”

    Will reproduce this line the next time Little Miss Kickboxer barfs on me in the middle of the night … maybe it’ll make her laugh, too, instead of cry and ruin my perfectly lotioned skin.

  • spedrson

    2010/06/02 at 3:54 pm

    We couldn’t find a baby gate for the top of the steps right away when we first moved. Our 14 month old daughter fell down the stairs TWICE before we got a baby gate installed. The first time she fell all the way down and hit the closed baby gate at the bottom! 🙁

  • Ray1987

    2010/06/02 at 5:14 pm

    ” A baby gate, shoulder pads in size 12-18 months, and we’re getting rid of all our furniture.”

    ^^LOL! =P

    That’s a fiesty baby you got there! Wonder where she gets it from? ;o)

  • StephHyne

    2010/06/02 at 5:46 pm

    When my son was about her age he projectile vomited all over the kitchen and my dad who was visiting at the time. I was holding him when he hurled thank God. It hit dad instead. Dad near hurled too! I don’t miss those days AT ALL. Now though I have a 3 year old daughter who hasn’t quite mastered the “vomit in the trash” concept so when she had the flu… UGH. No matter how old they get you still have puke, I wonder if that ever changes??

  • msdilemma

    2010/06/02 at 6:38 pm

    ohhhh this is bringing back very bad memories when my now 2.5 yr old projectile POOPED in my face. Yep POOP. This was before we knew she had a intolerance to cows milk and it is my WORST moment of motherhood so far. Let me tell you, brown does not suit my complexion LOL. I scrubbed my face for hours that day and I was so sure that everyone whom looked at me knew it had happened. I felt a little violated by my darling little Acacia (whom I now think secretly aimed it at me)
    *shudder* its still making me feel dirty even as I write this LOL.

  • manda82panda

    2010/06/02 at 7:00 pm

    Nice description. I could swear I got a whiff of that just reading this, and gagged a little.

  • Laura Jones

    2010/06/02 at 7:08 pm

    If you want story potential and great photos, hand Marlo a seedless watermelon slice. The juice puddles and delighted smiles make nice memories to replace the curdled milk ones.

  • Heather too

    2010/06/02 at 7:45 pm

    That’s why god created second children. If folks had their second child first, there would be no second children!!

  • Cheryld

    2010/06/02 at 10:59 pm

    Nothing like having a little baby! LOL! My daughter used to projectile vomit when she was really little. It was so gross! She would cry because she didn’t like her clothes wet with vomit, but when I changed her, she’d be busting a gut (especially since I was usually still wearing the bulk of it!). Those were the days (not!).

  • Spambot

    2010/06/03 at 4:33 am

    Oh God. So gross.
    Cannot handle this shit at 6:30am when I have to write 7 pages of a 15 page term paper.
    Tuna breakfast sandwich = uneaten henceforth, goddamn.

    Still Hilarious.


    2010/06/03 at 7:29 am

    Basement Hurling will be a new Olympic sport, Bossy hears. Marlo is simply getting a jump start, no pun intended.

  • momof8

    2010/06/03 at 8:49 am

    Oh man, when my daughter was that age we had just moved into our new house. Finally! New Carpet! Went to calm her in the middle of the night and she started barfing. That’s right, caught it all on my chest, backed my way across the hall to the bathroom and then called for hubby. Dear husband looked at me like what do you want me to do? I’m like–take the vomit coated baby so it’s vomit coated mama can figure out how to get this gown off that has to go over my head!!! But hey, I SAVED THE CARPET! Good thing they are so cute.

  • baby_juggler

    2010/06/03 at 10:32 am

    I recommend TWO baby gates. One for the top of the stairs and one for the bottom. And spring for the hinged easy open kind. Better than climbing over!

  • AshesVonDust

    2010/06/03 at 11:26 am

    Ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew *gasp* ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew *gag* ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew

    Why do I want to have kids again? I swear, when it happens, my fiance better have a higher-paying job to pay for all the Purell and disinfecting wipes and the surgical gloves I will have to don before I touch my child. KIDS ARE GROSS. AND OOZY. And adorable and wonderful, I know, I KNOW, but EW.

  • AshesVonDust

    2010/06/03 at 11:32 am

    Bahahaha I just got a flash back of when I was about 7 or 8… I had eaten an OBSCENE amount of spaghetti before bed, and I projectile vomited a MOUND of spaghetti beside my bed… And, as my mother seemed at a loss (probably thinking “next time, one bowl only!”) my dog jumped in and started wolfing down the pile! OH GOD MY POOR MOM! xD

    I think I’m going to call my mother and apologize xD

  • hippiedaze

    2010/06/03 at 12:36 pm

    Um, I have to admit – I love the smell of a babies vomit. Anytime my kids would vomit on my shirt I’d be sniffing that thing like it was out of style. I also like smelling their breath after they vomitted.

    Regurgitated milk yum, even nicer smelling.

    I’m serious 🙂 am I the only one?

    I do not however, like smelling my kids poop – ew.


    2010/06/03 at 2:26 pm

    Yeah, Heather. It never gets better. My kid is 8 and she just had a palate expander put in. Well, that sucker is appropriately called the T-Rex because it seems to devour every bit of food she puts in her mouth. Therefore I had to buy a waterpik to clean it out. Well, my inexperience with the device coupled with my daughter’s apparent inability to understand the words “keep your mouth closed while I’m spraying”, led to a face (mine) full of high pressured water, kid slobber and a certain ramen noodle plastered to my cheek… Mommyhood is the bomb.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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